Sam Tordoff declared Saturday as a successful one for the MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save BTCC Team, qualifying third on the grid for the second British Touring Car Championship meeting at Donington while team-mate Jason Plato starts from pole position.
Tordoff and Plato set the initial pace as the works MG duo lowered the qualifying record at the Leicester circuit, Plato taking a provisional pole he would ultimately never lose while Gordon Shedden bumped Tordoff from the front row of the grid.
The Leeds driver felt he could have matched his team-mate however, but remained very satisfied with his and the team’s performance.
“It’s been a really good day – P3 is a lot better compared to a difficult Brands Hatch”, Tordoff told The Checkered Flag after qualifying.
“We’ve obviously got a lot of pace in the car with Jason on pole, and i felt like that could have been me on another day.”
Tordoff felt however that he could have been the man on pole position had he been more aggressive on his opening run of the session, a change in track temperature preventing many drivers from improving their times late in qualifying.
He added: “I was a bit steady on the first set of tyres just to put a solid banker in, and I was happy to match what we did in FP2 and thought that would be good enough for the front row.
“Even after that I thought I could just put the soft tyres on and go again, but then the track started to slow up. Frustratingly then I couldn’t get anywhere near those times again. Nobody could.
“The first lap was good but I wasn’t particularly pushing hard, and on the second set of tyres I pushed and kept getting quicker coming out of the first corner. I was up on the delta and then by the time I got out of Old Hairpin I’d lost it all.
“I think, with the temperature coming up, the track just slowed down that little bit. It’s a shame, but P3 is a good position and we’re on the inside line behind Jason so, if we get a good start, people around me have quite a bit of ballast.”
Weary of the fast-starting WSR BMW 125i of Colin Turkington starting alongside him on the grid, Tordoff admitted that he will aim to take advantage of the MG’s promising tyre preservation displayed during the final race at Brands Hatch.
“I excpect Colin [Turkington] to come past me at the start just with the rear-wheel drive advantage he’s got. But he’s carrying more weight and i think that I can come back at him later in the race with our tyre life we saw at Brands Hatch.
“I’m confident we can be up there in all three races, and hopefully pick up some good points.”